“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” - Neil Gaiman

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Library Advocates head for Washington DC tomorrow #NLLD

Washington DC is a beautiful place to be at the beginning of May.

Screenshot_NLLD15Especially if you appreciate how important libraries are in your life in America.

It is so easy for your Legislators to 'get on board' with the idea of The Library; to tell you that 'of course' they will 'support your library'. But are they? Do they support legislation to actually fund your libraries? Do you see proof of their words in their actions?

Come to Washington. Join the American Library Association. Show your legislators how important your library is in your life.


Join your library supporters at ALA National Library Legislative Day #NLLD

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

ClassAct: Active School by actLAB NYC partnered with the St. Vincent Institute in the town of Maribojoc, Bohol, Philippines

screen shot

In the Philippines, actLAB NYC on KICKSTARTER (see our side bar on this site) has partnered with the St. Vincent Institute in the town of Maribojoc, Bohol, which was completely destroyed by back-to back catastrophes: the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that was immediately followed by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) on October 15, 2013 in the largely rural region of Visayasand. The area remains largely on it's own to struggle without funding.

This partnership project is an attempt to rebuild space for 150 students of  the 1,134 classrooms that were destroyed.

school after twin disasters

"The structures combine local craftsmanship with modern engineering for maximum resiliency. The goal is to empower locals to maintain and repair the structure with their inherent building knowhow + innovate cottage industries [thus revitalizing the local economic ecosystem] while promoting sustainability."


ClassAct design
flexible design/local materials/local construction methods

Want to help? Click HERE too and go to 'Donate' on the far right at the ClassAct Foundation.

" actLAB is a New York-based collaborative design group working at the intersection of architecture, education, illustration and social entrepreneurship. We design for the the social effect we aspire architecture to instigate, and draw from urban complexities and shifts that architecture must respond to. | actLAB is lead by Australian registered architect & Columbia University GSAPP alum + academic, Aya Maceda (www.ayamaceda.com) with collaborators, Buzz Wei (architect/ GSAPP alum: http://buzzwei.4ormat.com) and Sandra Javera (architect/illustrator: www.sandrajavera.com) | 195 Plymouth Street, Dumbo Brooklyn, NY 11201 info@actlabnyc.com"

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Hardcore privacy & DuckDuckGo

Co.LABSCheck out this article at fastcolabs.com by John Paul Titlow, the Associate Editor for Fast Company's FastCoLabs

I've lifted some points out of the article to pique your interest...


When Gabriel Weinberg launched a search engine in 2008, plenty of people thought he was insane. How could DuckDuckGo, a tiny, Philadelphia-based startup, go up against Google? One way, he wagered, was by respecting user privacy. Six years later, we're living in the post-Snowden era, and the idea doesn't seem so crazy.

In fact, DuckDuckGo is exploding

In 2008, launching a search engine seemed like a crazy idea. Here's how Gabriel Weinberg proved the critics wrong. 

But t DuckDuckFastCohings didn't start out that way. Weinberg, who says he has "always been a privacy-minded person," wasn't particularly concerned with search privacy issues when he first started building the service. In fact, he knew very little about the matter at all. Then early users started asking questions.

When you do a search from DuckDuckGo's website or one of its mobile apps, it doesn't know who you are. There are no user accounts. Your IP address isn't logged by default. The site doesn't use search cookies to keep track of what you do over time or where else you go online. It doesn't save your search history. When you click on a link in DuckDuckGo's results, those websites won't see which search terms you used. The company even has its own Tor exit relay, allowing Tor users to search DuckDuckGo with less of a performance lag.

Simply put, they're hardcore about privacy.

Like any company with a mostly remote team, DuckDuckGo experiments with all the latest online collaboration tools.

Skype. Yammer. HipChat. Asana. "We've tried everything that we know of," says Pappis.

Lately, they've been toying with Sqwiggle, an online collaboration tool that uses persistent video and periodic screenshots to let coworkers see each other--or know who's away from their desk."

We are early users of The Duck, won't leave home without it. Give it a try, you'll be pleased (and secure) that you did.

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Need a hit of Shakespeare? Heard of the Folger Shakespeare Library?

Folger LibraryVisiting DC this summer?

Check out this fascinating library dedicated to all things Shakespeare.

The Folger Shakespeare Library has masterfully curated on going exhibits, in house and on-line, a theatre, tours, conservation lab, a shop of course and lots more to interest all ages and of course the Collection...

"The Folger Shakespeare Library collection has both great depth and a broad range. In round numbers, the Folger houses more than 256,000 books; 60,000 manuscripts; 250,000 playbills; 200 oil paintings; some 50,000 drawings, watercolors, prints, and photographs; and a wealth of other materials, including musical instruments, costumes, and films.

 The collection's two great strengths are materials related to the early modern age in the West, from about 1450 to the mid-1700s, and materials related to William Shakespeare and the theater, up to the present day."

 Admission is FREE!  Get out of the heat and find out what was so HOT in Elizabethan England.

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

couldn't have said it better ourselves


Eleanor Crumblehulme_LibrariesRecessionPlague_publish

In fact we have at least one thing in common with the Canadian librarian who coined this phrase.  We too are nearly driven wild when we see library funding cut and communities who will not support the library. 


The catch phrase that we use and one that we like to think hits legislators and the public with a certain effectiveness is: 

Libraries will get you through

Times of No Money

better than

No Money will get you through

Times with No Libraries

You are free to quote to anyone within hearing distance!

Special thank you to:

Marilyn McIntosh, the Executive Director at Monroe Free Library in Monroe, New York and her intrepid, stalwart and intelligent staff.


Eleanor Crumblehulme.

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

show the world what your environment means to you




Check out this link to theUnited Nations Environment Programme logoUnited Nations Environment Programme UNEP environment for development.


They have teamed up with musicians and artists, treehugger and piictu. Here is a link to the page where you can sign up with  piictu on your iPhone or iTouch  to submit photos of the environment around you.


Add your 'insights', good or bad to the photo record.  Show others around the world what your environment means to you.  Piictu

Green economy UNDon't limit your photos to ones of the outside. The interior environment in your library is as important as the one outside your walls.

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Library Systems roles and value explained

Library Systems are poster children! 

Librarians have always known how to work together collectively to deliver high quality service to the maximum number of people for the least amount of money.  Library Systems help librarians achieve those lofty goals every day, 24/7.

Library Systems in New York, and in other states and provinces are the support system to librarians and library users.  People who work for a Library System often do so in the background to provide all manner of services from inter library loans; cataloging and automated on line catalogs; trustee training and help with grant applications and processing funds from state aid.  Library systems help our librarians provide the services to a public who expects excellence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on line and in the library.

Title page Albany Hearings still


This  video   was taken 29 November 2011 in Albany, NY. Play time is 25m 45sec.

It is an excerpt from a Public Hearing: Funding Public Libraries in New York State under the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries & Education Technology, Chair, Assemblyman, Bob Reilly. 

The speakers are, in order of appearance: Robert Hubsher, Executive Director of the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS), Middletown, NY RCLS Facts  ;  Marilyn McIntosh, Director/Librarian, Monroe Free Library, Monroe, NY MONROE  and James Mahoney, Director/Librarian, Nyack Library, Nyack, NY The Nyack Library| Welcome .


Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Shareable: How Libraries Are Doing More With Less

PIC_1357 crop centerI just saw this on Twitter - good article.

Nothing we don't already know but important to share with those who don't appreciate the depth of commitment shown every day by librarians and their boards.

An overview of libraries reveals that some library systems are hanging on to a thread for their survival while others are thriving. The overall trend, however, is one of increased usage and circulation of materials, both electronic and traditional, coupled with decreased funding.

 Neil Gaiman - chair Nat lib wk 2011 video in link below...

from:  Shareable: How Libraries Are Doing More With Less.

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

New York Court Declares That Libraries Are Educational Institutions

Good news.  Library Journal home dt.common.streams.StreamServer

New York Court Declares That Libraries Are Educational Institutions.

"The judge said it perfectly: libraries are an inherent public good," said Kevin Verbesey director of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System.

"This decision recognizes that libraries are not cultural amenities. They are educational institutions and are an essential public service," said Michael Borges, the executive director of the New York Library Association (NYLA).

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Book Club @ People to People International - hear what the world has to say.

We participated in a delegation of librarians to China in 2007.  The People to People InteVcm_s_kf_m160_160x120rnational (PTPI) organization PTPI has been close to our hearts ever since.  The tour, our guides and our fellow travelers were fantastic in all respects.  The organization just continues to amaze with timely and innovative ideas that bring people together from across the globe.

PTPI  has initiated a way for members to "communicate with members about international topics and gain unique insights into the cultures explored through readings of PTPI's Global Book Club."  I think this is exciting and a very pleasurable way to combine our love of books with budgets that, for now at least, limit our world travel opportunities!  You don't have to be a member of PTPIto sign up.  Registration for the Global Book Club is free.

Global Book Club
…from the shelves of Mary Jean Eisenhower’s (pictured here) library,
An initiative of People to People International

PTPI’ s Global Book Club is a way to connect with your  glob al community. Global Book Club me mbers will communicate about valuable, international topics and gain unique insight and understanding of the various cultural view s in relation to those topics. The PTPI Blog will feature discussion questions and commentary from PTPI staff and fellow readers.

Current Selection: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - Join the conversation now!

New titles are announced in January, April, July and October.

Here is what mambers are reading now.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand
December 2010

Nearly 10 years ago, Laura Hillenbrand's Seabuscuit: An American Legend captured the nation's attention and went on to become a highly acclaimed motion picture. We are very please to bring you Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, a friend of PTPI and co-founder of PTPI's Operation International Children (OIC).

Unbroken tells the unforgettable true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete whose training was interuppted by World War II, taking Zamperini to the skies as a pilot for the U.S. Army Air Forces.

Discuss this book on the PTPI Blog!



Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Get your geek on. Support the library. | geekthelibrary.org

Get your geek on. Support the library. | geekthelibrary.org

29 January 2011

Check out this site!  Learn how to get the word about your library out to your community.  Free. Effectively. Professionally!

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded OCLC to develop a promotional campaign that is distributed free to any library that wants to participate in this, beautifully designed and eye-catching program.

Our thanks to Mary Lou Carolan of the Walkill Public Library in Walkill New York for inviting us to join her colleagues -  librarians from Orange County, NY, - their staff; teens; Friends of the Walkill Library; interested citizens and supportive Seniors. 

Jenny Powell from OCLC -Home [OCLC] (US) and Home [OCLC] (CAN) made a comprehensive presentation to introduce the concept and answered dozens of questions from the group who became more excited by the program as Jenny showed how the promotional materials can be used and tailored to fit local library needs.

Polaroid-geek Explore the site and see how you can getyourlibrarygeekon at your library!


Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

the book farmer...

We dream of making a positive difference in peoples' lives by helping communities provide space for them to read, research and talk to one another. 

 Pam Shelton book farmer of Botawana from MORE article MORE magazine ran an article  that caught my attention. see article about Ms.Shelton in MORE online Pam Shelton keeps her dreams firmly in reality by bringing books to people who want to read and who have no books.

We support Ms.Shelton.  Perhaps you too will find inspiration in her story. Pam Shelton - brings books to Botswana

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.